The heroes in a half-shell battle the Foot Clan and the evil Shredder.
Listen up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn't bad at all.
Judging by the critical reaction from its US release earlier in the year - where it scrapes 20% on Rotten Tomatoes- I was expecting an unmitigated disaster of a picture. But the film itself it watchable and features a couple of action beats that they are generally enjoyable to soak your brain in.
It's a film that's quite clearly aimed at a young audience, perhaps even younger than the 12A rating might suggest. The humour is extremely silly and the turtles themselves seem more like tweens than teens, especially the vaguely creepy take on party dude Michelangelo.
The plot is very basic indeed and and Megan Fox's supposedly fiesty reporter character seems to have been written by a neaderthal but its all just padding in a film that's supposed to be about some turtles. The motion capture and CG work used to bring the foursome to life is truly exceptional (props to Weta here), even if you're not a fan of their new design.The same attention isn't paid to other CG characters, Shredder ends up looking like some kind of balding mouse thing and there are some very awkward gags and product placement.
That said, when director Jonathan Lievesman (Battle LA) gets his hands on the action scenes, things liven up considerably. The punches are punchy, the camera roves freely and there's even some sense of danger. Until the turtles learn that important life-lesson. The highlight is undoubtedly a 10 minute chase and slalom down a mountain-side, complete with ramping slow motion, great particle work and some moments that actually make use of the 3D.
The ending of the film doesn't work too hard to set up sequels but with the groundwork done here I'd be more than happy to sit through some more turtle adventures, with just a little more time spent polishing the script.